How many schools you should apply to very much depends on the nature of your college search. As a general rule, work to hone your college list to between six and eight schools. You want your list to have balance--a mixture of reaches, targets, and likelies--but EVERY college on the list must be one that you want to attend. Applying to a school that you have no real interest in attending not only wastes your time and money but also takes an admissions offer away from someone who might have that school as his or her first choice. Applying to more than ten schools is generally unwise, particularly if your list is "reach-heavy." You need to have a high threshold for rejection in that case. At the same time, focusing too narrowly on only one or two choices will leave you with limited options at the end of the process, particularly if college cost is an issue. That said, students who can identify a clear first choice should take advantage of Early Decision options, and students who are interested in a university with rolling admissions should get an application in as early as they can. Finishing the application process early in the senior year can be beneficial for the right student.